Highlights: November 2020

Tis the season of being thankful! And while there are a lot of things in the world that are pretty darn stressful right now, there’s still a lot of good to be found. The leaves are all falling, the scarves are getting pulled out, pumpkin spice has invaded everything. And, of course, a lot of new books are coming out! Here are the one’s we’re most looking forward to this month.

Serena’s Picks:

Book: “The Awakening” by Nora Roberts

Publication Date: November 4, 2020

Why I’m Interested: I’ve read a few of Nora Roberts’s traditional romances years ago. And I know she’s written a bunch of books in other genres. So when I saw this book pop up as the first in a new fantasy trilogy for her, I thought now was as good a time as any to jump on that train. The story features Breen, an unassuming young woman who travels to Ireland in search of her past and finds an entire different world. Like, literally, a different world with dragons, and fairies, and all of that magical stuff. With her small life exploding around her, Breen must come to find a place for herself within a destiny that threatens to overwhelm her.

Book: “The Burning God” by R. F. Kuang

Publication Date: November 17, 2020

Why I’m Interested: I know, I know! I haven’t even gotten around to reading/reviewing the second book in this trilogy! But man, it’s not for want of trying. Turns out, super popular books are kind of hard to get your hands on when you’re on a miles-long waiting list at the library. There’s a decent chance I’ll just break down and buy the sequel just so I can get to this book which I have an e-ARC of all queued up. Oh the trials of blogging, when you miss the initial rush and then end up with ARCs for later books in series that you still need to catch up on. It’s like whining about having too many good things! Without knowing what happens in the middle book in this trilogy, I don’t have anything specific about this book that I’m looking forward to other than my complete confidence in the strength of the author’s abilities to tell a darn good story.

Book: “The Princess Knight” by G.A. Aiken

Publication Date: November 24, 2020

Why I’m Interested: I enjoyed the first book in this series, “The Blacksmith Queen,” so I’m definitely curious to check this one out as well. From the sounds of it, it’s not a direct sequel in that our main characters are no longer Keely and Cain. Instead, this story focuses on Gemma, a member of the War Monks who have made warfare an art form. But she parted with them to support her sister Keely in her bid for the throne and now finds herself working with an untrained, unruly collection of fighters. A challenging situation is made all the more difficult by the strangely compelling leader of this group, Quinn. While the first book in this series didn’t blow my socks off, it was still a fun read, so I’m curious to see whether this change in focal characters will add or substract from my overall experience.

Kate’s Picks:

Book: “We Keep the Dead Close: A Murder at Harvard and A Half Century of Silence” by Becky Cooper

Publication Date: November 10, 2020

Why I’m Interested: True crime continues to be a hot commodity, and as it continues to be sought out by the public, people are starting to examine it as a form of ‘entertainment’ and trying to find ways to make it less problematic. I for one am all for this, and I’m therefore “We Keep The Dead Close” caught my attention. Author Becky Cooper first heard about the long unsolved murder of Jane Britton when she was an undergrad at Harvard, the tale having transformed into something of an urban legend. Cooper was interested in trying to solve what exactly had happened to her, as the real Jane seemed to have gotten lost in the campus lore. She talks to people who knew Jane, family members, classmates, and even the man who was rumored to have been her killer. Going beyond the usual whodunnit format, “We Keep the Dead Close” will no doubt be more than what I usually expect from the genre.

Book: “Those Who Prey” by Jennifer Moffett

Publication Date: November 10, 2020

Why I’m Interested: You had me at ‘campus cult’, Moffett. “Those Who Prey” showed up on a 2020 YA Thriller List and I made quick note of it. One of my favorite topics in true crime is that of cults and cult activity, and it has been that way ever since I was in California when Heaven’s Gate committed their mass suicide, so of COURSE I am eager to give this a whirl. Emily has found herself isolated and lonely during her freshman year at college. Far from home and not making friends easily, she is excited when a group approaches her and starts to befriend her. She joins the Kingdom for the companionship, and is eager to make new friends and find a stronger relationship with God. But the longer she stays, the stranger things get. And by the time she’s on a mission trip in Italy, things have gone terribly wrong. Consider me fully on board.

Book: “These Violent Delights” by Chloe Gong

Publication Date: November 17, 2020

Why I’m Interested: This one is a BIT out of my usual wheelhouse, for a number of reasons. The first is that it’s technically a fantasy, or at least is described as such. The second is that it’s a retelling of “Romeo and Juliet”, a play and story that I, as a rule, don’t really care for. But “These Violent Delights” is catching my eye because I love the idea of the 1920s Shanghai setting, and there is mention of a monster. Juliette and Roma are former loves who find themselves now on the opposite sides of a gang war. Juliette’s Scarlet Gang has run things for generations, and Roma’s White Flowers are gunning to take the business and power away. But when members on both sides start dying horribly by their own hands, Juliette and Roma have to set aside their differences, and feelings, and try to figure out what has them in danger. I may be gambling on this one, but I’m excited to do so.

What books are you looking forward to this month? Let us know in the comments!

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